Fully vaccinated Americans can visit France for tourism purposes without having to undergo pre-travel testing. But to participate in many activities in France, you will need the French Health Pass. This QR code system verifies that you have been vaccinated. For Americans who have not been vaccinated in the EU, this can be a barrier. Until recently, Americans could apply for the French Health Pass to check their vaccination status. As of October 31, the app was on hiatus. This development may impact your future trips to France.
You can get a QR code by testing negative every 72 hours
Previously, American travelers could apply for the French Health Pass before their trip. Travelers submit a photo of their CDC card, vaccination details, and travel details. Once approved, travelers receive a French Health Pass QR code that verifies their vaccination status.
Since October 31, 2021, the application has been on hiatus. This means that this option is no longer available to American travelers. But there is another way to get a pass.
Travelers vaccinated outside the EU can get a temporary QR code with a negative COVID-19 test result. Rapid tests are readily available at most pharmacies nationwide. There are also many pop-up test sites in popular tourist areas. Tourists have to pay for the tests, and in most cases the tests cost between $ 30 and $ 35.
Although this is a simple and easy way to obtain a temporary QR code from the French Health Pass, your code will only be valid for 72 hours. This means that if you plan to visit France for several days it will be an additional travel cost.
You may be able to check immunization status at some pharmacies
If you are hoping to skip the regular testing, there may be another way. The U.S. Embassy and Consulates in France note that travelers can obtain a French health passport by having their vaccination card details verified in person at certain pharmacies across the country. This is only available at participating pharmacies. You will need to pay a fee to do this. The pharmacy can charge a maximum of EUR 36 for this service (approximately $ 42 USD).
At the time of writing, 33 pharmacies in Paris and its region offer this service. If you are unable to get a pass this way, you will need to follow the testing route. No matter what you choose to do, it will be an additional expense.
If travelers don’t get the French Health Pass QR code, it can be difficult to enjoy their trip as most restaurants, museums, and many indoor attractions require it.
This will make travel to France more expensive
If you want to get to the Louvre, dine at a restaurant, or take long-distance transport (like taking a train from one French town to another), you’ll need a QR code. If you can’t go to a participating pharmacy to check your immunization status and use the testing method, it can be expensive. You will need to get tested every 72 hours.
If a test costs $ 30 and you visit France for a total of 12 days, you will pay $ 120 to test four times throughout your trip. Be sure to budget for this extra cost when you are budgeting your vacation.
Remember that in order to re-enter the United States after traveling abroad, you will also need to show proof of a negative test result. If you don’t have it, you won’t be able to board the plane.
Here are the current rules based on immunized status:
- Fully vaccinated travelers must be tested no later than three days before departure
- Unvaccinated travelers must be tested no later than one day before departure
Instead of a negative test result, travelers can show COVID-19 recovery documents no more than 90 days before flight departure.
Even if you’re not visiting France, it’s a good idea to include some extra money in your vacation budget if you’re planning on traveling abroad in the next few months. Traveling during a pandemic can be expensive.
Here are some examples of additional costs that you may encounter:
- COVID-19 tests before arrival
- COVID-19 test after arrival
- COVID-19 tests before departure to return to the United States
- Quarantine stays
- Travel insurance
- International health insurance
Make sure you know what additional costs you may have to pay before making international travel during the pandemic. If you want to earn rewards on your travel expenses, consider applying for a travel rewards credit card.